Being an English exchange student

Only a short one today:

 

It’s become more and more apparent that being English, or rather an English speaker, makes the whole exchange experience rather different to that of someone who is constantly working using their second language.

Workload

In the run up to the first round of exams and deadlines, the workload has increased quite a lot.

This is to be expected, and I’m pleased that I’m busy, but something happened earlier this week which made me realise that I’m extremely lucky to be a native English speaker.

It was during a meeting of my Design group. In my group, I am the only native English speaker, we also have a German, a Belgian and two Czechs. We’d discussed what we needed to do before the next time we met, and started loosely talking about writing the report. I said words to the effect that we don’t need to worry too much about it, and one of them said to me: “Well, it’s easier for you, you can speak English.”

Now, in the entire time that we’ve been working together, I’d never thought that any of them couldn’t speak extremely good English. I’m continually impressed with how well they can use English, and how they can even speak idiomatically!

Yet, once I’d heard that I realsied that, if I thought that I had a lot of work to do, someone who spoke English as their second language must feel that they have quite a lot more!

In fact, this is one of the reasons why I feel like I need to concentrate some of my energy on learning Swedish, which obviously does nothing but add to my workload…

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